“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” -Psalm 32:8
There are 4 key words in this passage: instruct, teach, counsel, and love. It is God’s love, however, that makes all the difference. Just as faith without works is dead (Jam. 2:14), instruction, teaching, and counseling without love is lifeless.
As a former pastor, I counseled a variety of people. I distinctly remember an older gentlemen who had complained about marital issues. His wife badgered him for not having a job, cleaning the dishes, and failing to pay the bills. His self-esteem suffered in the process.
He would come into my office with a barrel full of tears, crying: “I really wish I could help my wife out, but I am physically unfit. My multiple surgeries and heart issues deter me from accomplishing simple tasks.”
As a young man, I was intimidated to offer instruction and advice to an individual twice my age. But I reminded myself that God is the one who counsels. This thought alleviated my fear and I began to teach him from the Bible how to solve his circumstance.
I believe the most important verse I asked him to memorize in our counseling sessions was 1 Peter 5:7. “Cast all your anxiety on Jesus because he cares for you.” When he knew God cared for his marriage and anxiety, it made all the difference in the world.
No longer was counseling an impersonal psychological assessment. Instead, counseling became personal. God really does watch over our pain with a “loving eye.”
By simply reminding this man that God desires to build a relationship with Him, it brought to life why instruction, teaching, and counseling are meaningful. It’s because there is a God who wants “all things to work for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).” Do you believe this truth? Then share it with others!